After months of anticipation, the day finally came to travel to this resort all the way from Canada. We were interested to see how this resort measured up against the all inclusive resorts we have been to in The Caribbean. It didn't disappoint, but it didn't really live up to expectations either.
First off we're a married couple in our early 30's. We've travelled quite extensively and can adjust to pretty much any environment. I hate when I read reviews that say "we're easy to please, BUT" and then go on to nit pick over every little nuance that they possibly can. We are easy to please period. And we were pleased with this resort.
It was a breeze. The entire process probably took 10 minutes, and the girl who went over all the details of the resort spoke rather good English. No line up when we arrived somewhere around 12:00 noon. We were offered a drink and a snack before the bell boy escorted us to our lovely room.
We were in room 2222 which had a stunning view overlooking the pool and the sea. The room itself was quite spacious and clean. Two single beds which can be pushed together. There was a nice balcony with 2 chairs, a table and a place to hang your swimsuits and towels after a day at the pool/beach.
Some of the negatives;
The shower leaked after every use and left a huge puddle on the bathroom floor. There is a giant window with a blind that separates the shower and the main room and it was broken so you couldn't close it. And every channel on the TV had horrible reception. We didn't complain about any of these things, but I felt it was probably worth mentioning as it might bother some other guests. To be honest, the view we had compensated for these annoyances, and in retrospect they probably would have moved us to a different room if we did complain. The resort seemed to be about half full.
The resort itself;
Well, the nice thing about travelling here in October is there is no fight at all for sunbeds. As I had mentioned the resort wasn't at capacity, so you could head down to the pool any time and get 2 beds together. Inside the resort there are 2 lounges, a coffee shop, a night club (small), 2 buffet restaurants and 3 a la carte. Also there is a game room where you can play cards, pool, cards, ping pong and even a bowling alley. Bowling will run you 10 lira per person for one game. The sign said for 1 hour, but that didn't seem to be the case. didn't try the spa, but people we spoke to said they enjoyed themselves there. All in all the resort is very clean and seems to be well managed.
This was one area we felt the resort really excelled in. Usually food in a all inclusive isn't all that much to rave over. But both my wife and I were very impressed with not only how tasty the food was, but how much of a selection there was. Being only there for 1 week, we didn't see too much of the food repeated like some other reviewers had mentioned. We did try the Cuban a la carte and it was disappointing. The service was nice, but the food didn't compare to what you could have in the buffet area. The food at the pool bar was also wonderful. The pizza's are delicious! As far as drinks are concerned, this resort falls flat. The only beer they offer is called Tuborg and it's bloody awful. The drinks are weak and there is a limited drink menu. Asking for something off the menu only resulted in confused looks from the bartenders. Oh well.
Here's where our review will differ from almost all the others. Before we came here all we read on this site was how wonderful the staff are. We just didn't get the same kind of feeling. The bartenders don't smile, the waiters are grumpy and we just couldn't shake the feeling that we were just bothering them whenever we asked for anything. We did tip when we felt it was warranted, however that didn't happen often. We found out from a lovely British couple later on in the trip (who travel here yearly) that you should zero in on one particular bartender and a server at the beginning of your stay, tip them really well and you'll be taken care of. Maybe give that a shot.
The activity staff barely acknowledged us. They were much to busy fawning over the many German guests which seemed to make up about 97% of the people here during our stay. The only entertainment show that was worth seeing in our opinion was the Mama Mia show (which was fantastic) other than that the comedy show, Blues Brothers and Fire Show were forgettable.
We did have a small issue checking out. The guy barely spoke English and needed to charge us for bowling, but didn't know how to operate the debit machine. We didn't have any cash left on us, so this created an issue. After alot of confusion and frustration on his part he finally figured it out, but not before making us feel like we were a huge inconvenience by not paying with cash. That left a bad taste in our mouths.
To summarize, if you've booked here I'm sure you'll enjoy yourselves as we did. Just don't get your expectations up too high reading all the other reviews as you may feel a little let down like we did. I don't regret booking this place. We had a nice time. But we wouldn't return.
One more thing, GO TO SIDE! It has wonderful restaurants, tons of shopping and the ruins are worth seeing. You catch the bus (which is more of a mini van) just outside the resort on the main road and it takes you straight there in like 15 minutes.
Also, if you need a cheap airport transfer, book directly on a website called "Travel Republic". They are by far the least expensive, and I found them after doing extensive research on line. Only 30 dollars Canadian for a return trip for 2 people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Only 14+ Adult Only Hotel in Antalya ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Alba Royal Resort All Inclusive
- Alba Royal Hotel Turkey/Colakli